When you think about badass action stars, Charlize Theron better be on your list. She has worked hard and has fought to have more women command the screen in action films. During her Comic-Con interview about her career in the action genre, we got a deeper look into how she has evolved throughout the years and how she will continue to improve the genre.
Charlize talked about how as a kid, her parents were big action film fans, and that she was brought up with films, such as Mad Max. And once she became an actress, she wasn’t given the opportunity to play an action character, until after she won her Oscar in 2004.
The Italian Job:
The Italian Job was briefly mentioned during the interview because even though most of the action being done, was in cars, it was definitely Charlize’s first action movie. She talked about feeling incredibly insulted because while training with the rest of the actors, she was told that she would have 6 weeks more car training than the guys. That’s when she felt that women were being unfairly treated in the genre.
Mad Max: Fury Road
For Mad Max: Fury Road, Charlize said that the movie changed the trajectory for her. She talked about shooting the movie, and how tiring it was. All the physical lifting was real because George Miller didn’t want to rely on a lot of wirework. And that Furiosa is one of the most important characters that she has played. She made the connection between seeing Sigourney Weaver in the Alien franchise and realizing how amazing she was in those films. We hadn’t seen a woman in that kind of movie before, and she believes that Furiosa is on that same level. Because of this movie, she now has the confidence to seek out directors, and possibly produce the work that she wants to see moving forward. She believes in the end that Mad Max changed the genre for women.
Charlize talked about how passionate she was about getting Atomic Blonde right. She was responsible for a lot of its creation since the graphic novel was unfinished, and she didn’t know if she’d ever do an action movie again. She was 40 years old when she made the movie, but what blew my mind was that she said that they wanted to create long fight sequences, so they would shoot scenes that were 7-10 min. long!
The Old Guard:
Currently, you can see Charlize in The Old Guard on Netflix, and she talked about how her fighting style had to be very specific for this character. Most of her other characters are scrappy and can get away with fighting in an unconventional way, but for this character, the stunt coordinator had to pick out moves that Charlize succeeded at and hone those skills. She really had to convey that she could take an enemy down with real technique.